Facebook marks images of painted breast cancer survivors' chests as 'pornography'
Region: North America
Subject: Nudity, Political/Economic/Social Opinion,
Artist: Michael Colanero
Confronting Bodies: Facebook
Dates of Action: October, 2011
Location: United States
Description of Artwork: The Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project employs survivors of the deadly disease volunteer models who have their chests painted in various brightly colored, inspirational patterns. The body art is then photographed.
Results of Incident: The participants of The Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project and its supporters are collecting signatures in order to petition Facebook's ban on the images. Signatures may be submitted electronically at ThePetitionSite.com; their goal is to acquire 5,000 signatures. The incident raises issues of double standards enabled by the vague nature of Facebook's list of unacceptable content. Michael Colanero, the artist behind the project, pointed out that Facebook allows "Girls Gone Wild" to have a page, but yet bans the images he intentionally created to be non-sexual and child-safe (He hoped they would be used in oncology clinics and hospitals). One of the participants talked about the hypocrisy in terms of gender standards. If images of male chests with tattoos, etc. are allowed to be posted then why shouldn't women be allowed to share pictures of the artwork on their chests? The incident challenges the vague nature of the term 'pornography' and its subsequent abuse, forcing the public and Facebook to consider what might constitute free speech and public health advocacy as opposed to something deliberately indecent. It is notable that the inspirational messages in the form of comments on the image disappear with the picture itself.
Source: www.dailymail.co.uk 10/28/2011